Friday, June 5, 2015

Should Anti Corruption Commission be totally independent ?

I wish to appeal to all stake holders and Appeal Courts that the decision of yes or no should not at all be only based on a simple fact that 52 employees left the service from ACC during its near 10 years existence.

People are not robots. Employees will leave a particular service for variety of reasons and working atmosphere is only one such reason and even then it could be to do with colleagues or bosses attitude rather than the palatability of the actual job itself. I suppose in the last 10 years even Royal Audit Authority had quite a number leaving the service. I recall DHI making a hue and cry about loosing good people as a part of a campaign to fend against Public deemed disproportionate executive level salaries at DHI.

The ACC Chief confirmed at BBS interview that among the 52, several were sent out by the Commission. They did not resign or seek transfer on their own.

There has not been a real effort to analyse the reasons the balance among the total 52 numbers who had not been pushed by the Commission to the exit door but left anyway.  Few among the 52 may have superannuated upon reaching retirement age. I have not seen one interview or written statement from any of the 52 as to the reasons for leaving ACC. But I am told of few who left for better pastures and that is natural for any employee in any organisation. If you get job especially in an international organisation or as a Superior rather than present subordinate why not.  It is in human nature to opt to fresh love, more money,more power and status or just a change over. It does not mean that the old job or love was unbearable. Also what has been the employee strength of ACC over the years. Has it increased or did it actually decrease.

It is rather disturbing when a Member of Parliament justifies independence of ACC on the floor of the Parliament just on the bare unanalysed reason of 52 employees having left ACC in the 10 years of its existence. Now if one or two of the Commissioners had resigned on grounds of working mandate inadequacy, that the Parliament should then worry about. In ACC case,  the Commissioners have near doubled their constitution mandated single term of 5 years. So they the commissioners could not have been unhappy with their power or perks and it is in their hands to make the environment comfortable for those that work under them.

ACC has the independence of investigating what it feel warrants investigation. It can demand for any information or record and have suspects suspended from service. The Commission can have OAG prosecute their Charges or even take up prosecution on its own. This is true independence.

Constitution prescribed independence cannot extend to limitless money to spend and employ whoever one chooses and pay whatever one feels like and imprison whoever is suspected. We live in a society with limited resources . There can not be too many princely authorities in a small Kingdom. Whether it is ACC, Election Commission , DHI or any other heavy weight Agencies,  there has to be a set parameter for independent powers because the rest of the nation also has a stake in the Kingdom.

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